Let’s hear it for the History Forum!!!

Sep 6, 2023 | 0 comments

I am delighted to report that the first-ever History Forum at the Oysterville Schoolhouse this morning was a resounding success!  Forty-six community members — think “larger community” from Cathlamet, South Bend, Astoria, Centralia and the Peninsula — were in attendance to hear three members of the Chinook Tribe discuss “How We Got Here” and what is was like for their ancestors who lived here on the leading edge of White settlement.

Charlotte Troeh Killien, Charles Funk, and Linda LeClaire each spoke about their families of long ago and the development of the Chinuk Wawa (called “Chinook jargon” by Whites) to assist them in trading with people speaking many languages, what canny bargains they made — and those comments only for starters.  Interest was high and when it came time for questions and comments from the audience, there were many.

Moderator Sydney Stevens and Speakers Charlotte Killien, Charles Funk, Linda LeClair – Michael Lemeshko Photo, 9-6-23

There was also additional information offered.  Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum Executive Director Madeline Moore invited History Forum participants to two events at CPHM featuring the Chinook Nation: “Chinuk Ntsayka!” We Are Chinook: Photographs by Amiran White (August 4th-November 11th) and “We Are Chinook!” Gallery Talk with Photographer Amiran White (September 20, 5:00-6:30 P.M. )

Steve Rogers, President of the Pacific County Historical Society invited all those interested in pursuing research regarding the history of Pacific County to come to the South Bend Museum and have a look at the files for themselves.  “There will be someone there to assist you,” he assured listeners.

Charlie Funk Talks About His Ancestors and Their Way of Life 9-6-23 – David Olson Photo

Afterwards, people lingered in groups of two and three to further discuss what they had learned or to share additional information.  “Hooray!” I thought!  “That’s what a Forum is all about — a place or setting in which to exchange ideas and hopefully to inspire  like-minded people to carry the discussion out into the community.”  Nothing would please me more than to learn that people were beginning to get together beyond the Forum, itself, to share information and, as Jim Sayce so often hopes, “to tell the stories.”


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